Winter is long. When spring arrives, bringing with it new life in the garden, I can feel my heart leap. It is a relief to know that under the snow, there is new growth and vigorous LIFE waiting for a new year. As a gardener all we have do is nurture it.
The piece that I’ve picked out for this post, is called New Life in the Garden. She’s meditating. And when I say meditating, I don’t mean sitting still with shut eyes and blanking out. This meditation is an act of working on yourself.
Taking time to be still and to dig deep into ourselves is a challenge. Just like gardening isn’t just about picking the pretty flowers, sometimes I have to put in the preparation and hard work – getting down into the roots with a shovel and digging.
There can be a lot of talk – especially in a long dark winter (I live in Norway, I know winter) – of looking for light. But it’s been my experience over the past six months that there’s be done in the shadows and this is where meditation gives me time to look beyond the distractions.
In a busy day or when I’m surrounded by people, it’s tempting / easy / inevitable that I’ll avoid thinking about why I’ve felt and even acted out on my negative feelings.
A friend of mine described it for herself as feeling passing moments of shame, guilt or and anger brushing it aside in order to get on with the day. She takes the opportunity in quieter moments to ponder on those feelings and ‘feel’ them through to the end in order to gain perspective or understanding of them. But as she admitted to herself – really going to work on herself would mean regularly meditating and reviewing those unresolved tricky feelings.
So when I mediate, I’m not just seeking calm. I’m allowing myself to follow my thoughts, feelings and memories. It’s a deep, exploratory mediation.
For me, this kind of mediation is really important for working through a lifetime of issues because there are changes I need to make. I’m not interested in Marie Kondo’ing a few cupboards – it’s the legacy of childhood and parenting that I want to resolve.
The painting – New Life in the Garden – has had other names. At one point I called it ‘Waking Up’, because when I’ve meditated deeply, I’ve emerged with a different understanding of myself. It’s a transformation – which even in small ways, can feel significant. And you know, there are good memories in this head of mine as well as the not so good.
It’s like in the garden – some plants can look pretty twiggy and sorry for themselves in the early days of spring. But with care and nurturing, there are leaves and blooms waiting – I know they are there. I’m not digging that plant out any time soon because she’s worth waiting for.
Note: There is no photo of me with New Life in the Garden. She’s been sold and is carrying her transformative ways to a new home in Norway.